By Brooks Baehr - bio | email
LONG BEACH, LONG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Richest event in ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals) history began Tuesday, and although it is being held at Long Beach, Long Island it has a decided Hawaiian flavor.
The opening ceremony at the Quiksilver Pro New York featured a pule (prayer) from Makaha waterman Mel Puu and music from Puu and Kauai surf legend Titus Kinimaka. The contestants were given lei and ti leaves.
"We wanted to bring a bit of Aloha to New York," said ASP announcer Peter Mel.
Two Hawaii born surfers are in the field. They are Freddy Patacchia and Keanu Asing. Asing qualified for the event by finishing second in the trials.
Waves Tuesday had two to four foot faces, but hurricane Katia, which is far off shore in the Atlantic Ocean, is expected to increase wave faces to as big as eight feet by Friday.
The Quiksilver Pro New York is the first ASP event ever held in the shadow of New York City. Its $1 million prize money makes it the richest ASP event in history.